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13

 

A LETTER FROM IVY DUCE

 

Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, January 19, 1959

 

Dear Friends

 

Two days ago our beloved Baba commanded me to give His lovers in America His dearest love and to tell them about my visit and what I witnessed. As it may be another month or so before I reach home, and my chances of contacting more than a few at such time would be slim, I have taken the liberty of addressing this to you. As I said in India, we are accustomed to Iron curtains, Bamboo curtains and the like, but a Baba curtain such as we have been experiencing during His seclusion is always most hard to bear. Having heard of the tremendous pressures of His work during the seclusion, the fasting for three weeks and more at a time on nothing more than a little sweetened water, I was extremely anxious, as are you all, to see with my own eyes, what His physical condition might be, and so when I discovered that I was leaving for Arabia and other Middle East countries on Dec. 19th last, I wrote to Adi that it would mean so much if only I might have a glimpse of Baba.

 

We spent Christmas week at The Hague. However, I came down with the prevalent virus and spent nearly all week in bed, and Mr. Duce and I have been racked with coughing for weeks, so that I feared if permission did arrive I would not be able to go as I would not want to give this bug to Baba's household. Arriving here on Jan. 5th, a letter from Eruch Jessawala awaited me to the effect that Baba wished to remain in Poona undisturbed until Jan.15th and that He was returning to Pimpalgaon on the 19th after meeting Poona devotees on the 17th; that I might have the glimpse if I could reach there before the 19th. The letter continued:

 

"Baba wants you to know that although you asked only for a glimpse He will grant you five minutes to be with Him and five more minutes to be with the girls. Then you should leave Poona to go direct to your destination, i.e. leave India by the first available plane or ship. Therefore you should arrange your itinerary accordingly . . . Baba wants you to bear in mind that the five minutes are meant to be taken literally by you and that the purpose of your coming to India is just to be with Baba for five minutes. This means that if you decide to make the trip to India then you are NOT to plan any other program of sight-seeing or other visits to places in India."

 

Bearing in mind my training that "one moment in the presence of a Master is worth crores* of lifetimes", but more than that, being very anxious about our Beloved, I set up the complex machinery of visas, exit and re-entry visas, plane schedules etc., in the midst of a trip to Riyadh. Luck was with me for the TWA had passage at just the correct time and Baba said I got there at a most auspicious time because He rewarded my eagerness to go for only five minutes by permitting me to sit for four hours with Him during the Poona darshan, altho' it wasn't really a "darshan" per se.

 

Mr. Duce went on to Jeddah from Riyadh and I came back to Dhahran in time to arise at the crack of dawn and board the TWA for Bombay, on Thursday the 15th. Arriving in Bombay at two in the afternoon, and after the endless forms were filled out and inspections, I was deeply touched to find behind the gates a whole collection of Dadachanjis with garlands and bouquet to greet me. Nariman and Arnavaz bustled me into a car and we drove the twelve miles into Bombay, dropping off various relatives along the way. After putting my bag into the Dadachanji apartment, Arnavaz took me for a quick run downtown and on our return a group of the intimate Baba lovers came in to make me welcome. It was interesting to see women I had met at Meherabad nearly twenty years ago and to find that although bodies had grown a wee bit older, eyes were fresh and young with Baba's light and love streaming from them.

 

*a crore = 100,000

 

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